Monday, July 30

Mother Nature lends a hand

It actually rained this week and it wasn't just once. We even had thunder and it rained quite heavily for a time on Saturday and managed to coincide with our time at the allotment trying to catch up with jobs that our watering regime had impeded.

We didn't have as much rain as was forecast, but then again thankfully Friday wasn't as hot as predicted. However, any rain at the moment is very welcome; who would would have thought back in April that I would have been saying that.

On Sunday it rained gently for most of the morning so at least we had enough rain to give us a break from watering.
23 July
Our second sowing of peas has just about come to an end but the third sowing is just about ready for harvesting. Our successional sowing has worked out perfectly this year.
I just hope this last lot don't fall victim to mildew. I am really surprised that they have managed to keep going in this spring/summer heat. I think that without all our watering this would not have been the case.
24 July
The enviromesh was pulled back to water the carrots. We could water through the fabric, and sometimes do, but often the water will run in dips created in the mesh and only water parts of the bed or will only wet the leaves. To make sure that water reaches the soil we have risked that some carrot fly may sneak in when the crop is uncovered. 

I imagine them sitting somewhere on lookout and at the moment the carrot tops are revealed the cry of, "Right girls time to move in!" goes up. (It will be the girls laying their eggs that do the damage). When the mesh is pulled back we too take advantage by pulling a few carrots to take back home for dinner.
We have started to pull onions as we need them. In the hot, dry weather, the bulbs have stopped swelling and instead of needing lifting the onions are drying in the ground. This year the bulbs are not as large as I would have hoped but even before the hot, dry spell the plants had been battered and broken by gales so even small onions are more than I expected.
26 July
The courgettes are still producing lots of fruit and it would seem that some naughtiness has gone on in the courgette bed. Some of the yellow courgettes are showing signs of having been too friendly with their green neighbours. Courgettes and squash do tend to be rather promiscuous. The leaves as well as the fruits of the two varieties are quite different.
Since struggling to dig the first lot of Casablance potatoes from the ground, we have resorted to watering the potato beds. Fortunately some time was freed up due to some of the other beds having been cropped. We didn't expect this to improve the yield, as in many cases the tops had withered, but we hoped that the watering would make the soil more workable so the rest of the potatoes could be dug without resorting to using a pick axe.
This seemed to work and, Martyn found it easier to dig up more Casablancas. 
The yield was better than from those previous dug but this was probably down to the fact that these plant tops still had some growth whereas for the previous lot the tops had died down completely.
28 July
The beans are now coming on stream, especially the Climbing French Cobra which are doing really well. The purple, Cosse Violette are flowering but so far haven't produced any beans and the runner beans are now setting .
We even managed to harvest our first Sungold tomatoes which is early for us, especially considering that the seeds were sown later than usual. Fruits are ripening in both our garden and plot greenhosues.
I have a couple of pots of basil in the garden greenhouse that were threatening that they would some run to seed and so these were given a haircut and the cropped leaves frozen for use over winter.
Of course the sweet peas just keep on giving,
One thing that we have noticed is that the overspill bed where the plants are spread out more is producing flowers with longer stems so that is a lesson learned for next year.
Finally what has been a rare scene on our allotment over the last few months. Mother Natures handiwork.


This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres



16 comments:

  1. Great harvests, Sue - those potatoes look perfect! I've tried succession sowing of peas in the past, but it's not worked out - our summers are always fairly hot but perhaps had they been watered more that would have made the difference. I'll have to keep that in mind for the future.

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    1. Even during a normal summer we make sure that peas and sweet peas are given plenty of water, Margaret

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  2. Beautiful harvests and flowers! Glad you got a little rain and hopefully a little break!If you look at my onions, you will feel blessed with your onions! Ha ha! Your beans all look so perfectly strait! Mine never are! Everything is looking great!

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    1. It’s been a treat, Shawn Ann no watering for three whole days and maybe tomorrow will be four.

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  3. It's lovely to be going down to the allotment now and coming back with plenty of good harvests. Our beans and courgettes are doing well too and I have started picking the sungold tomatoes

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    1. It’s pay back time, Margaret.

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  4. Fancy having to use a pick axe to get at the potatoes, just shows how dry it has been around you part of the world. Great harvests, delighted to hear you've had rain, we had some here too, I felt like cheering! Just love those green/yellow courgettes!xxx

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    1. We felt like cheering too, Dina.

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  5. Hooray for the rain! Those carrots are really growing lush under the cover, your hard work of watering seems to have paid off. And your flowers are always lovely - that bouquet of sweet peas is stunning!

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    1. Definitely hooray, Dave. I just hope that the carrot roots are as good as the tops.

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  6. You've got some lovely harvests Sue. We've had a very dry summer too, but as the soil is sandy it doesn't go rock hard (but dries out very quickly). We had lots of thunder and lightning on Friday night but not much rain, then a bit of rain yesterday. I went to the plot today to check for storm damage, And found the soil still very dry (the winds dried off a lot of the rain), then being disappointed that I was going to have to water again - only to get caught in a huge prolonged deluge a couple of minutes later! Hopefully some of that penetrated into the soil...the plants should perk up now. Fingers crossed Mother Nature continues to help us all out.

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    1. All types of soil have their pros and cons, Lou Fingers tightly crossed.

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  7. lovely... Looks so productive

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    1. It’s our main harvesting time now, Endah

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  8. Again I am felt dumbfounded and can only say 'Wow' - congratulations guys, your hard work is really paying off :)

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    1. Thanks Carrie , it makes the achy arms worth it.

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